I wouldn’t consider myself a control freak, but I do like to have things planned and organized -- ahead of time. In my opinion, it’s the only way to live your life -- if you’re hoping to design a life you actually want to live.
Unfortunately, while just about everything can be planned, not everything should be planned. In many cases, planning is almost entirely useless.
Some things we don’t have the ability to plan with precise enough certainty to make the plan of any actual value.
Truth be told, even the greatest, most thought-out plans have a chance of failing or becoming useless due to a change in circumstances. But there’s no need to worry. Here’s why:
1. Things never really go the way you planned them to.
Planning isn’t entirely pointless, but it does have limited useful application. What you can do is pan actions; to be specific, your actions. Planning the actions of others is also useful, but less reliable.
Planning the outcomes of actions, on the other hand, is rather useless. You can calculate the probability of each possible outcome -- and it is recommended that you do so -- but the outcome isn’t decided until it’s apparent and/or inevitable.
2. The plans we sometimes come up with aren’t especially the greatest to begin with.
Some plans are flawed from the start. I do believe it is possible to create the ideal plan with whatever knowledge is available to you, but as human beings we make mistakes.
We miscalculate, we are unaware of certain factors, and/or we get lazy or overly confident with ourselves. If the plan was bad to start with then simply don’t make the same mistake next time.
3. Being met with the unexpected is no excuse to admit defeat.
Things change all the time -- constantly, in fact. No plan can ever account for all the variables as we are never fully aware of all the variables or how those variables are likely to affect an outcome.
Every plan should expect to have to be adjusted throughout the process to make room for the unknowable. If you get caught off guard don’t give up -- adjust, reevaluate, and act.
4. If you aren’t prepared for what comes, then that’s your fault -- you just learned a very important lesson.
When things don’t go to plan you are faced with one of two outcomes: you either manage to make the necessary changes in a timely manner, or you don’t. If you don’t, it’s for a reason.
The question is: why were you not prepared to deal with the unexpected? Of course, some things you can’t possibly predict the possibility of happen.
Yet… there are plenty of foreseeable hurdles that most of us choose to ignore. Learn your lesson and be happy that you learned it sooner than later.
5. With every new problem arises a new opportunity.
The hard part is seeing it. When we are faced with a big problem or looming failure, it’s difficult to focus on anything else. In fact, it’s difficult to see anything but the seemingly inevitable doom.
Bad news has a way of darkening our skies to the point that we refuse to bother looking up. It’s crucial that at such moments we make sure to be extra observant, looking for any possible options to either resolve the issue or to use the issue to our advantage.
Even the darkest clouds often come with silverlining. You just need to stay vigilant.
6. That which you can’t change you shouldn’t worry about.
You’re probably thinking, “easier said than done.” Fair enough -- it won’t be easy. And so what? Just because something is difficult to do doesn’t mean that you shouldn't’ try your best.
Understanding that the things that are out of our control should be left out of mind is the first step to staying emotionally solid.
I’m sure whatever the problem is, it isn’t a pleasant one. It may even be a life altering one. Regardless, don’t focus on the problem unless you can fix it. If you can’t fix it or influence its change then you’re better off spending your mental energy elsewhere.
7. Even if you were to fail completely, you always have next time.
Failure is not the end and therefore shouldn’t be feared. We worry because we fear, but fearing failure is fearing the inevitable. You are going to fail because everyone fails.
Those that fail enough times, succeed. And after they succeed they proceed to fail at other things -- enough times so that succeeding, once again, becomes an inevitability.
8. Very often, an unexpected turn of events can be used to your benefit.
Again, you have to be looking for such things in order to see them. The smartest, most successful individuals know how to turn an issue upside down and make a profit off of it.
Even if you aren’t talking about money, many -- not all -- unexpected happenings can be used to your benefit. You need to think both inside and outside the box.
9. If life were to always go as planned, it wouldn’t be any fun.
It’s one of those double edged sword scenarios. If things never go as planned, we’re saddened and disappointed. On the other hand, if things always go as planned we get bored.
Those that always win by default and are never challenged, are never happy. You need some surprises in your life. Hopefully not too many… but you can’t always have your cake and eat it.
10. Shit happens -- accept that truth and learn to live with it.
Life isn’t always fun. It isn’t always bright and pretty. Sometimes life is painful, brutal, dark and seemingly hopeless. All of this is a result of your perceptions.
We perceive things to be a certain way, and for this reason have it in our power to perceive these things differently. Bad things will happen in your life because they will. It’s inevitable.
How you perceive them, what you learn from them, and how you live with them is what -- in the end -- defines both you as an individual and your life.
Photo Courtesy: We Heart It